CONCACAF announced on Wednesday the 35-player provisional rosters, featuring five Sporting Kansas City players, for each of the 12 countries competing in the 2015 Gold Cup from July 7-26 across the U.S. and Canada. Designated Players Matt Besler and Graham Zusi were named to the U.S. Men's National Team's preliminary squad, while Roger Espinoza (Honduras), Marcel de Jong (Canada) and Soni Mustivar (Haiti) will also be available for selection by their respective national teams for this summer's regional championship tournament.
Each national team will submit their final 23-player roster to CONCACAF by June 23. All players on the final roster, as well as any injury and/or knockout round replacements, must come from those listed on the provisional roster. Teams are permitted to replace injured players up until 24 hours prior to their opening match and the eight nations advancing to the quarterfinals may replace up to six players within 24 hours of their final group stage match.
2015 CONCACAF GOLD CUP
GROUP A: United States, Panama, Haiti, Honduras
GROUP B: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Canada
GROUP C: Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba
Besler -- an Overland Park, Kansas native -- has 25 career international appearances and was a member of the U.S. MNT for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship, starting each of the three knockout round matches. Now in his seventh professional season, the 28-year-old Sporting KC captain is a three-time MLS All-Star (2011, 2013, 2014) and has twice been named to the MLS Best XI (2012, 2013) to go along with an MLS Defender of the Year honor in 2012.
Sporting Kansas City's team MVP and an MLS All-Star each of the last three seasons, Zusi has 28 caps for the U.S. Men's National Team with three goals and six assists since his debut in 2012. The 28-year-old playmaker is a two-time MLS Best XI selection (2012, 2013) and he ranks in the top 10 on Sporting KC's all-time charts with 43 assists (3rd) and 23 goals (10th).
Espinoza, like Besler and Zusi, is a World Cup veteran after representing Honduras in South Africa (2010) and Brazil (2014) in addition to his starring role at the 2012 Summer Olympics in England. The two-way midfielder has 46 caps for Los Catrachos at age 28, including appearances at the 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups. He was an MLS All-Star in 2012 and returned to Sporting KC prior to the 2015 season following two years with Wigan Athletic in England.
De Jong, 28, is poised to make his fourth straight appearance at the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the Canada Men's National Team after representing his country at the 2009, 2011 and 2013 editions. The Sporting KC defender, acquired in March from FC Augsburg in Germany, has 33 all-time international caps for Canada -- most recently starting in a pair of victories over Guatemala (March 27) and Puerto Rico (March 30).
Mustivar was a member of the Haiti Men's National Team that secured a berth in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup by finishing third at the CFU Caribbean Cup last year and has six international appearances since debuting in 2013. The 25-year-old midfielder joined Sporting KC in February and has made an immediate impact. Sporting KC is 6-0-4 when he has played and Mustivar leads the team with a 85.34 percent passing accuracy.
The Gold Cup is the region’s marquee tournament for the top national teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. This year’s edition is the premier competition for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2015 and will determine CONCACAF's representatives at the Copa America Centenario in 2016 and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017.